if you announced the date you're going to announce a product, that would be the same thing as announcing that product
I think there are some business issues there, like who gets it based on the announcement date
Luceric is right, announcing a date is pretty much the same as announcing a product, or the intent to. To cut a very long story short, there are many reasons why Autodesk don't specifically mention announcement and shipping dates, but one of them is something called revenue recognition. This is something that many public listed companies have to be careful of and there are business rules in place to make sure companies adhere to these things
I know this may sound odd to people, but having these rules and restrictions are actually in the customers interest as well. It stops companies from announcing something and then when the date comes around retracting what they may have said. People could of made financial decisions based on what someone might of announced. If a public company like Autodesk announces something like a products ship date, it then has to see it through. If there's a problem, the penalties can be severe.
This is why when announcement is made on a certain date, its not just a random date, it has been carefully agreed. As Luceric said on another post, the dates are not synced up to trade shows specifically, but to internal schedules. Obviously from a PR & marketing point of view, announcing at a trade show can be a good way of getting coverage but if we're not ready (for whatever reason), then we won't do so.